Paving The Way For A (Virtual) Camp Experience
“Bridgeport in a Box” cultivates connection, faith formation from afar
In April of this year, our Bridgeport Camp and Conference Center leadership – after conversations with North Texas Conference leadership, summer camp directors and others from around the nation – made the difficult decision to cancel all camps for summer 2020. We know how much Bridgeport Camp means for so many children, youth and adults in our conference. This led us to immediately started working on how to bring a Bridgeport Camp to the churches and families in North Texas.
So much of camp can't be recreated in an online space. There is no replacement for the sunset behind the Bridgeport Cross during an evening worship service or sitting around a table for a meal with your newest friends. Our goal was to take what could be recreated in an online space and make it available to as many people as possible in this time of social distancing. What we came up with is what we are calling Bridgeport in a Box.
Bridgeport in a Box takes our summer curriculum and adapts it to fit in an online space. Our bible study, games and activities have been altered for use in homes or through an online meeting portal such as Zoom. It is essential to us that this virtual curriculum can be used in multiple settings. We realize that the needs of churches in our Metro District may be different from those in our East District. We have tried hard to make this curriculum useful to all, regardless of which church you may call home. We hope that parents and ministry professionals alike will be able to use some or all of what we are offering.
Along with freely giving out our curriculum to families and churches throughout the conference, we are also planning on offering the opportunity for children and youth to sign up for online camps that will be led by some of your favorite camp directors. In this way, we hope to create a space where young people can still connect with other young people from around the conference.
Our Bridgeport in a Box website is live, and we have already posted a set of curriculum that was developed based on our 2019 curriculum "Blueprints of the Church." We also have a page dedicated to some of our camper's favorite parts of Bridgeport Camp.
We plan to release Part 1 of our 2020 summer curriculum on May 26. Also, on that day, we will have a Zoom call to discuss our summer plans and how you can sign up for one of the online camps.
For generations of United Methodists, camp has been a vital component of the faith formation of our young people. We are committed to continuing in that spirit even as we find ourselves in the space of reimagining what all this looks like in a post-COVID-19 world.
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2020